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Not Greenwash-Just Green Jobs!

                                         Not Greenwash-Just Green Jobs!

By Prof. Anju Kumar

 Nothing is constant but change! An often quoted phrase which has more relevance in today’s time and age. The pace of change has accelerated with the shift to a green economy, redefining the labour markets and need for better skills. Sustainable development is the need of the hour as natural resources are dwindling. The movement from the fossil fuel model of economy to a green model is imminent. Green jobs help protect the ecosystems and biodiversity, lessen energy consumption and materials and conserve water through strategies of high efficiency. It also contributes to decarbonizing the economy and shuns waste and pollution. A green job also contributes to a sustainable world. Green economy  is defined as an economy that aims at reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development without degrading the environment.
A green job, also referred to as a green collared job is, “work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contributes substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality” “Decent work is defined as opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity”. This is broadly defined by the International Labour Organization, ILO. The United Nations Environmental Program(UNEP) and the International Labour Organization(ILO) promote the use of environmentally sound practices.
When an environmentally conscious individual, ties up with an organization which substantially has greened its operations, then he is working in a green. The organization can be of a conventional type or can belong to the green sector constituting an entire gamut of professions which includes energy, transport, manufacturing, retail, agriculture, building, materials, transport, services etc.
Any individual working in a green organization must have an internalised green lifestyle, doing his bit to lead a greener and healthier lifestyle. Green jobs give an opportunity to people who care for the environment and would love to be associated with a fulltime green job. The latency of a green job exists in India as well. Green jobs cover a wide range of skill sets, education and occupational profiles. The main objective of a green job is to reduce the environmental impact to sustainable levels in organizations.
So what constitutes a Green Job…
According to ILO, jobs are green when they “help reduce negative environmental impact ultimately leading to environmentally, economically and socially sustainable enterprises and economies. More precisely green jobs are decent jobs that: – “Reduce consumption of energy and raw materials – Limit greenhouse gas emissions – Minimize waste and pollution – Protect and restore ecosystems”
The skills, knowledge, training and experience currently in demand by green employers:
The technical skills required are Industrial trades/Occupations, Reducing environmental impact, Innovative green ideas/products, public and government relations, Marketing, Energy conservation, Alternative electricity production, Sustainable products, Recycling, Remediation/pollutants/waste disposal and treatment of the environment and Engineering
Apart from energy and enthusiasm, the soft skills that are required for green jobs are communication skills, critical thinking skills and a can do attitude. Green jobs are growing at a rapid pace. The below figure indicates the projected exponential growth of green jobs over the next few years.

Indicators are statistics used to measure current conditions as well as to forecast financial or economic trends. The following are some green job indicators. The employment that is generated by economic activity, the types of occupations that create that employment, the living and financial conditions of that employment, the type of green technologies used by that economic activity, the fraction of companies that use that technology and the demographic divide taking that employment.
In pursuance of sustainable developmental goals, countries have to undertake the task of greening the economy. This also enhances the quality of life for its citizens. This involves making investments in green technologies, optimizing natural resource utilization, creating infrastructure that improves productive economic activities and also ensuring minimal environmental impact. And finally contributing to sustainable economic growth.
Green jobs create production processes and other processes which use lesser natural resources which indirectly benefits the environment. Skill council for green jobs is one of the skill development initiatives aligned with the National Skill Development mission in India, promoting green jobs. India is on a fast growth path with respect to its economy. The challenges that lie in this journey are many. Having embraced globalization, the leading challenge is to maintain the environmental standards according to international pledges, increase the non-conventional GREEN energy consumption and conserving fossil fuels. This is augmented by the creation of many green jobs in the coming decade. These efforts create decent employment opportunities, enhance resource efficiency and build low-carbon sustainable societies and economies.
India green jobs – Report
ILO green jobs Report